IS attack wounds tribal militia fighter north of Diyala

A security checkpoint in Diyala

Diyala ( An attack by Islamic State militants at checkpoint in Diyala on Thursday left one tribal fighter injured, news reports quoted a security source as saying.

IS attackers targeted a checkpoint at al-Tala al-Oula, a village in Hawi al-Udhaim region in Baqubah, according to the source. The attack wounded a fighter from al-Hashd al-Shaeri (tribal mobilization), a paramilitary group fighting Islamic State alongside government troops.

Islamic State has stepped attacks across Iraq coinciding with defeats in Mosul, its largest stronghold in Iraq of which Iraqi government troops have recaptured a half since October.

Observers believe that while losing Mosul could be the strongest hit to the Islamic State’s existence in Iraq, the extremist group, which had taken over large areas of Iraq in 2014, could later turn to insurgency.

The group has sustained severe losses in personnel and ground since Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and popular militias, waged a major offensive to retake Mosul in October. IS has also reportedly been ravaged with divisions within its ranks, with news reports increasingly suggesting that its supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, might be replaced, let alone other news about his possible injury in recent security strikes in Anbar.

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